woe to

woe to (one)

1. Misfortune or unpleasant consequences await or will happen to one (if something happens). The legislation is becoming increasingly complex, and with enforcement tightening all the time, woe to anyone who fails to familiarize themselves with every letter of the law. All I can do is offer my advice as to the best and safest course of action—woe to you if you decide to ignore it.
2. One deserves great punishment or misfortune. Woe to you, Mr. Smith, for destroying the lives of so many employees and dragging the reputation of a once-mighty company through the mud.
See also: woe

woe to (someone)

1. Used to express the wish for someone to experience misfortune.
2. Used as a warning or allusion to negative consequences: "Our sun will be a red giant, and woe to any earthlings who may be around to witness its bloated blush, for the planet on which they stand will likely be vaporized in the expansion" (Natalie Angier).
See also: woe
References in classic literature ?
This, shipmates, this is that other lesson; and woe to that pilot of the living God who slights it.
Woe to him who would not be true, even though to be false were salvation
for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.
Since thou dost in thy cruelty desire The ruthless rigour of thy tyranny From tongue to tongue, from land to land proclaimed, The very Hell will I constrain to lend This stricken breast of mine deep notes of woe To serve my need of fitting utterance.
Next, the groups received different types of WOE to provide the procedural information on replacing a tire.
The great commentator Rashi has a wonderful way of expressing the contamination which we all experience from bad influences in our lives: "Woe to the wicked, woe to his neighbour.